Upgraded motorway’s new $1b problem
FIXING a new bottleneck created on the recently upgraded Gateway Motorway could cost a further $1 billion, according to federal MP Luke Howarth.
Speaking at the official opening of a $1.1 billion project to widen the road between Nudgee and Deagon, Mr Howarth said the new highway was an improvement but still had one "small bottleneck".
The Courier-Mail revealed weeks ago that frustrated motorists were complaining that the road funnelled from three lanes down to two at Deagon, creating regular afternoon traffic jams for northbound motorists, a problem the RACQ had warned about for years.
Mr Howarth, whose electorate of Petrie covers the troubled section of road, said he had already been in discussions with federal and state politicians to upgrade the two-lane section.
"There's three overpasses there that need upgrading and my estimation is that could cost anywhere from $500 million and another $1 billion," Mr Howarth said.
He said another option would be to create a second crossing of the Pine River, linking Griffin to the Gateway.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said motorists in general were saving at least 10 minutes commuting on the new road, which took three years to build and created 1000 construction jobs.
"Of course there will be need for future upgrades north of here in future times and that's a matter for negotiation between the Federal Government and the State Government but I think the feedback from people overwhelmingly has been very, very positive about the time savings," he said.
The Federal and State governments split the $1.1 billion bill for the project 80:20 respectively.
Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said it was critical to continue investing in road infrastructure in southeast Queensland because it was one of the fastest growing regions in the country.
"We need to be investing in roads we want to work cooperatively with the Queensland Government to get those roads built so that people can get to work fast so they can home more quickly," he said.